Opportunities for the Philanthropic Theatre-Goer

Upon first glance, D.C. can be seen as a city full of power-hungry politicians and business people rushing to their next oh-so important meeting. The arts are probably the last thing people think of when discussing D.C.’s normal activities. Although D.C. is a bustling city with a knack for brunch and yoga, the performing arts scene is growing and is quickly becoming a favorite D.C. pastime.

Finding good live art that also has a philanthropic base can be a hefty feat. That being said, we have put together a comprehensive list of nonprofits that all give back to their community in some way.

The Forum Theatre -- Offers accessible, affordable and entertaining plays that inspire conversation surrounding issues that are relevant in local, national, and global aspects. Using a pay-what-you-want ticketing system, The Forum celebrates and welcomes people from all walks of life. They encourage their audience members to pay whatever price they want in return for entertaining and well-done theatre. Keep up-to-date on upcoming shows via Forum-Theatre.org or their Facebook page.

Young Playwrights’ Theatre -- All young artists deserve the chance to showcase their creativity. Young Playwrights’ Theatre empowers children through developing confidence, critical thinking, and language skills in order to create beautiful works of art that they can be proud of. By encouraging their students to take control of their academic and creative success, YPT kids are able to visualize how their work can influence the communities around them. Every student has a voice to showcase his or her story, and YPT creates that space in order for every young artist to develop that story. YPT just concluded their final performance for the season on June 13. Check out their website, Facebook page, and watch clips from past performances on their YouTube channel.

This is My Brave, Inc.- “One day we will live in a world where we won’t have to call it “brave” when talking about mental illness. We’ll just call it talking.This is My Brave is a community that seeks to break down the stigma surrounding mental illness through original song, poetry, and essay which is then published onto their blog and YouTube page. They believe that mental illnesses have been in the dark too long and that it is time to shed light on these issues.

Only Make Believe- Only Make Believe is an interactive theatre group that seeks to bring joy and inspiration to hospitalized children struggling with chronic illnesses. The troupe of ten actors travels to different hospitals in the D.C. area to create a little magic in those stuffy hospital rooms. OMB is always seeking volunteers to help sew costumes, set up the playrooms, or even just be a helping hand.

THEARC- THEARC is run by Building Bridges Across the River, which is a nonprofit organization that works to improve the lives of those who live east of the Anacostia River. THEARC provides access to educational, cultural, recreational, health, and social service programs. Everyone deserves a chance to engage and participate in theatre and art, and THEARC hosts various theatrical events in their space, including plays, musical productions, round table discussions, and more. THEARC has many shows playing in July. To find out more, check out their website.

About the Author: Madison Kendrick is a summer intern at the Daily Do Good. She studies marketing and political science at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. Madison is a longtime dancer and arts enthusiast.

Puppy Love

I did not know what to expect on my first day as a dog handler volunteer at an adoption event for Lucky Dog Animal Shelter, but my overall experience was uplifting. I pictured myself walking and playing with the dogs all day, but I found that the reality was much different as soon as I was given my dog, Mayzie. From the moment Mayzie arrived at the adoption event, she was full of excitement, curiosity, and love. Her tail never stopped wagging a million miles per second and she always had a slobbery smile on her face. Mayzie is a black Labrador Terrier who is looking for a furever home. She is about two years old, weighs 50 pounds, and loves to play outside. I never learned how Mayzie ended up in a scary animal shelter, but I cannot imagine anyone wanting to give her away. As a dog handler, my responsibility was to keep Mayzie calm and to answer any questions potential adopters may have about Mayzie.

The day was very challenging for me because Mayzie would not stop barking and charging other dogs for the first hour of the event. She was very hard to control and I had to keep her away from the other dogs. I was nervous that I would spend the entire event separated from everyone else. Although Mayzie’s intentions were good, the other dogs took her eagerness to make friends the wrong way. This usually resulted in both dogs loudly barking while growling and snarling through their teeth. I realized that not all dogs were going to be happy and full of life like Mayzie. Most of these dogs have deep-rooted emotional hardships due to their past experiences.

My favorite dog I met during the adoption event was named Dante. He is very special because he has an extraordinary story and an amazing spirit. Dante is a two-year-old Belgian Malinois Mix who weighs about 40 pounds. He was living on the streets in Puerto Rico when he was hit by a car. Luckily, the volunteers there found Dante and took him to a hospital where he was treated. Unfortunately, a bacterial infection grew in the bone and his leg had to get amputated. I was speaking to his foster mom at the adoption event, and she told me that Dante is the fastest dog she had ever met and he continues to play and live life like any other dog. Dante needs an active lifestyle and I hope that potential adopters do not overlook him due to his uniqueness.

My best friend, Miranda, volunteered with me and the dog she handled for the day was named Jack. Jack is a two year old Border Collie Labrador mix who weighs about 50 pounds. He is the complete opposite of Mayzie. Jack is mellow, cuddly, and was completely calm during the whole adoption event. Jack was a stray who was found on the side of the road. Whoever found Jack brought him to a kill shelter and he was eventually saved by being put in the foster system.

I am so excited to volunteer at future adoption events with Lucky Dog Animal Rescue during my summer here in Washington D.C. There is at least one adoption event every weekend and I hope all of you can volunteer and give these dogs the love and support they deserve!

About the Author: Julia Alspach is an intern with the Daily Do Good. 

Hashtag Holiday Giving - Social Media Campaigns We Love

1. Oxfam America's Unwrapped holiday gift catalogue allows for donations to support families in need. For $150, you can support a midwife's training, or give a pair of chickens for only $18. Follow all the good on Twitter via the hashtag #Unwrapped (not to be confused with the Food Network Show) at @OxfamAmerica.

2. Evite and Pledgeling's #GiveMeFive challenge is a fun way to send holiday greetings to friends, family and coworkers, while encouraging them to make small donations ($5) to charity. Guests can opt to make a donation when they RSVP to a party. Easy as pie. 

3. Goodwill is offering a simple solution to the environmental impact of shopping online: Take the boxes you receive and use them to ship donations of clothing and household items. Visit givebackbox.com to send donations for free, and follow the impact via #GiveBackBox.

You might need to fight for your box.

You might need to fight for your box.

7 Kids Who Started Nonprofits

1. One day, 5-year-old Hannah Taylor saw a homeless man eating out of a garbage can in her hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba. She didn’t know why and wanted to help the man and those like him. She started The Ladybug Foundation to help find shelter, safety and food for the homeless. Hannah, now 18, has raised more than $3 million for Canada’s homeless and has even started another charity, The Ladybug Foundation Education Program, which encourages school children to make a difference.

2. Alex Scott received a neuroblastoma diagnosis at age 4. To fight back, she created Alex’s Lemonade Stand to raise money for children’s cancers. Once a year, she set up a stand in her front yard. Word spread and others started making their own Alex’s Lemonade stands. Shortly before young Alex died at the age of 8, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation raised $1 million. The foundation is still going  strong today.

3. Craig Kielburger was 12 when he saw the story of boy his age who had been murdered for speaking up about human rights and slavery in Pakistan. From that moment, he knew he needed to help. Craig, along with his older brother and several classmates, decided to speak out against child slavery. They established Free the Children to bring an end to child slavery. After realizing freeing children from slavery was not the only problem, Craig began Adopt a Village, a program that gives the village the tools needed to empower themselves out of poverty.


4. Leanne Joyce has a congenital heart problem.  Back in 2010 while waiting for her test results, she was given a gift by two of the hospital volunteers. The joy of receiving the gift made her forget about being in the hospital. Seeing that others care, Leanne wanted to give back to other children in hospitals to help them be happy too so Leanne established Positive Impact for Kids. Since then she has brought joy to hundreds of children. She has goals to make the stays of children and teens in the hospital better by raising money for iPads to keep them socially and educationally engaged.

5. Austin Gutwein created Hoops of Hope after seeing how children whose parents died of AIDS were suffering. On World AIDS Day in 2004 he shot 2,057 free throws to represent the number of children losing their parents to AIDS. Austin raised almost $3,000 for World Vision to help 8 of those children. To date, Hoops of Hope has raised more than $2.5 million to  help children get food, clothing, schooling and more. Parts of the money also goes to help buy mosquito nets, clean water and more to children in Malawi. This year they are working toward their goal of building 15 new dormitories for children as the current ones are overflowing with children that live too far away from the schools.

6. Jonas Corona created Love in the Mirror at age 6 after volunteering to feed the homeless in the LA area. He noticed that there were many children who were in line for food in clothes that did not fit them. All he wanted was to make these children happy and healthy. He started Love in the Mirror to provided families in need with the necessities of life.


7. Who run the world? Girls! Shannon McNamara launched Shannon’s After-School Reading Exchange in 2008, when she was 15 years old. While planning a mission trip to Africa, Shannon learned that many girls were not able to access education. Shannon, along with neighbors, friends and family gathered books and supplies to give to the girls of Africa. Since then SHARE has helped build school libraries and created scholarships in Tanzania. Recently they launched a Keep Girls Safe Initiative.



About the Authors: Ashley Angeline and Sarah Nylen are interns with the Daily Do Good. Sarah, an American University junior, dreams of lazy beach days in her coastal Massachusetts hometown, while striving to be a marketing major for a socially responsible company in DC. A communications student at the University of Cincinnati, Ashley aspires to be a broadcast journalist. And to marry Prince Harry.


Put the Giving into Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and we can almost smell the turkey, pumpkin pie and apple cider. It’s a time to gather with family and friends, and to give thanks for everything we have. But what about those who are less fortunate? You can show your gratitude by giving back for the holiday. Here are five ways how:

1. Feed the Hungry

This is the most obvious choice. Each year, both area and national nonprofits strive to give a proper Thanksgiving dinner to those in need. DC Central Kitchen needs at least 400 whole turkeys, as well as sides and pies to provide 5,000 Thanksgiving meals to clients. Feeding America can distribute 22 meals for every dollar donated. Have a sweet tooth? Buy a pie to help Food & Friends deliver meals to homebound DC residents.

2.     Step Lively

Fun fact: Before a Turkey Trot was a Thanksgiving morning 5K, it was a ragtime-era dance. 

Thanksgiving is a good time for charity runs and fitness challenges. It helps us feel less guilty about that second (okay, fourth) slice of pie. Take part in Everyday Hero’s Thanksgiving Charity Challenge to help your workout pay off for you and your favorite cause. Or join So Some Others Might Eat on Thanksgiving morning for DC’s only annual Turkey Trot. NoVa  residents can trot with Christ Church of Arlington to benefit several area organizations.

3. Attend a Fundraiser

The best Friendsgiving

The best Friendsgiving

Enjoy a parents’ night out Friendsgiving with Frances Hazel Reid Elementary and the Backpack Friends initiative to help provide weekend food for children in need. If a 5K isn’t your bag, you can still help out SOME at a Thanksgiving Holiday Soirée. Or attend the Chronicopia Harvest dinner and cooking demo to benefit Bread for the City and Capital Area Food Bank.

4. Volunteer!

Giving food or money is always wonderful, but sometimes there’s nothing quite like giving your time. The Jewish Community Center needs help setting up for Monday and Tuesday Thanksgiving dinners. Assemble and deliver Thanksgiving baskets to area seniors and families with We Are Family and Family Matter of Greater Washington. Help So What Else lead a service fair for the students of DC Prep Ex.

5.     Adopt a Turkey!

No, not as a pet. Since 1986, Farm Sanctuary has been raising awareness for animal welfare. Save Tom Turkey from the dinner table. Try this vegducken instead.  

You Came, You Saw, You Grew.... Your Good!

On Oct. 21, 2015, the Daily Do Good hosted the inaugural Grow Your Good conference to boost nonprofit growth. Thanks to our wonderful speakers, sponsors and attendees for a smashing success. We look forward to seeing even more of you next year! 


"Great choice of content and great choice in people/professionals who led the workshops."

"Kudos on the half-day structure. 8-4/9-5 conferences are too long."

"The topics were great, speakers very knowledgeable but I wanted more time in the sessions!"

"Great work guys! Would love to see this as a day-long event too"

"The short keynotes were most helpful but there wasn't enough time for the breakout session."


Danielle Ricks, Danielle Ricks Productions, Social Media

Ron Imbach, RWI Solutions, Fundraising

Vanessa Tribastone, Censeo Consulting Group, Strategic Planning


The Taproot Foundation
Relay Foods
The Collective Good
Cafe Los Suenos
Enthuse Creative

Happy 1st Birthday, DDG!

On October 7, 2015, we held a party at We Work Wonder Bread Factory to celebrate the first anniversary of the Daily Do Good. Check out this slideshow of images. 

Photos by Joseph Simmons

It's been an incredible first year, and we're looking forward to everything the next year has to offer. To everyone who supported, encouraged and cheered for us, thank you. 


Five Heartwarming Stories You May Have Missed Last Week

Photo source: ABC.com

Photo source: ABC.com

Kirsten lost her father, police officer Kent Mundell, in 2009. He was killed in the line of duty. When she got married several of his fellow officers came and helped walk Kirsten down the aisle and lined up to take turns dancing with her. Kirsten was moved to tears by the show of love from the officers as they asked to dance with her in lieu of a traditional father-daughter dance.

2. "World's Ugliest Woman" uses personal experience with bullying to help motivate others and create positive spaces

Trailer from "A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story."

Lizzie Velasquez was once called the “World’s Ugliest Woman” by a bully online. From that moment, she decided to help others facing bullying. Lizzie has an extremely rare disease that causes her to age faster than normal, be unable to gain weight, and has made her lose sight in her right eye. Lizzie is teaming up with Tumblr and their “Post It Forward” initiative to spread good things on the internet, such as a gif, picture or a letter, to help someone else get through a tough time in their life. Her story is featured in the documentary "A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story."

3. A priceless gift from a stranger

Tracy Orr lost her job and was unable to save her house from foreclosure no matter what she did. Her home was put up for auction and she went to watch strangers bid on her home. Marilyn Mock saw Tracy and asked if she was there to buy a house. Tracy broke down and tears and told Marilyn what had happened. Unknown to Tracy, Marilyn went over and bought Tracy’s house back for her. Tracy says she’s blessed by the actions of Marilyn and hopes that one day she can repay the favor.

4. A girl and her dog are both survivors

Maria Williamson lost her eye when she was a victim of an attempted carjacking. While she was at her home recovering her boyfriend saw a puppy at a nearby animal shelter. The puppy was attacked by a bigger dog and as result he lost his eye. The couple adopted the puppy and has a fundraiser and a GoFundMe page to help with both Maria’s and the puppy’s medical expenses.

5. A grandmother doing good.

Phyllis Shaughnessy lives in Grays Harbor County, Washington, where many children are on free or reduced lunches. During the summer, many of these children have no way of getting food. Every day she makes and delivers lunches to almost 200 kids. Phyllis says that she does the summer lunch program so that the children know someone cares about them.

About the Author: Ashley Angeline is an intern with the Daily Do Good. She is a communications major at the University of Cincinnati.